With three teams fighting it out for race wins, Jenson Button believes Formula 1 is in a “good place” right now.
Although this year’s championship has been between just two drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, in recent races Red Bull have joined the battle for race wins.
Showing superior pace in Malaysia, Max Verstappen joined his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo on this year’s winners’ list, bringing that number up to five different winners.
And with faster cars and happier drivers, Button says Formula 1 is doing well.
“This year it is an important year for Formula One, it really is,” he told The Telegraph.
“With the way the cars are it is a big improvement, the drivers get out of the car and you can see they have been working hard.
“They are happy, they enjoy driving these cars which helps the sport, drivers are in a better place which helps the sponsors, helps the team and the fans love it.
“Also you have two or three teams fighting for wins and that hasn’t been the case for so long.
“I think having the fight with Ferrari and Mercedes is great for the sport, it is a shame the last two races turned out how they have because it is a big gap in the championship now.
“I think Formula One is in a good place, it really is, and having three teams fighting it out is what needs to continue in the future.”
The Brit has backed his former team-mate in this year’s title race as Hamilton holds a 34-point lead over Vettel with five races remaining.
“You’d have to say Lewis because the points gap is massive,” said Button.
“I know that it can turnaround pretty quickly in this sport but reliability-wise they’ve looked very strong this year.
“You would say that this year Lewis has had his fair share of luck that he didn’t have last year. It’s evening itself out.
“Last year he was so unlucky with reliability issues. This year it’s the other way round it seems.
“But it’s so much fun to see the racing between those guys. I’m really happy that it’s happened and I think a lot of people are tuning on because of the fight between two different manufacturers.”